Weepu's real headache revealed

Wed, 26 Mar 2014 14:27
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Veteran All Black Piri Weepu may not have a life-threatening disease, but there remains a cloud over his immediate playing future.

Veteran All Black Piri Weepu may not have a life-threatening disease, but there remains a cloud over his immediate playing future.

Debilitating migraines continue to hamper the Blues and All Black scrumhalf, which have affected his form in recent weeks.

His latest migraine came on during a team meeting, and less than an hour after he had explained the impact they had been having on him.

"It's really annoying," Weepu said in an interview with the New Zealand media.

"Sometimes I'd be feeling a bit dizzy because of the headaches and things, having to sit down and take my time and feel better before I try anything else," he added.

Weepu has had his share of concussions, including a bad one last year, but they are apparently not to blame.

A solution is yet to be worked out, and one needs to be found soon, as Weepu revealed this is not the first time a migraine has hit at training.

"It's just trying to get over it really, during training. I've had it before games, leading into games the last couple of weeks, but when I'm out on the field it's basically auto-pilot."

Blues coach John Kirwan said he is impressed by Weepu's focus.

"It's been weighing on his mind as well and he's still been playing to a real high level so we're doing everything we can to make sure he's well," Kirwan said.

"If he doesn't feel up to playing then he shouldn't play but he just keeps getting out there and wants to be out there for the boys," Kirwan added.

Weepu had scans earlier this week that have somewhat alleviated his worries, but the World Cup-winning All Black admitted he'd been unnerved by the sustained nature of the problem.

"I've basically been able to play through it," he said.

"The headaches are not painful, just annoying. During the week sometimes if I have bad ones I've just got to lie down and give myself a bit of time off, or just sit down and take a breath, try to ease up a bit, then I'm fine after that."

But Weepu, who has played 71 tests for the All Blacks, admitted he'd had to deal with the headaches around games as well.

"They're not full-on ones, they're just niggly ones and you go 'can this just go away'."

Weepu said the day the Blues left for South Africa he felt "pretty out of it" and shared his concerns with team doctor Stephen Kara.

"I was wondering 'what the heck is going on?' I thought it might have been a delayed concussion kind of thing. He said it wasn't, he basically said it was a bad case of migraines. I was quite puzzled."

Given the concerns in all football codes at the moment around concussion, Weepu said it was reassuring to be told his problems are not related to a known head knock in the game.

In terms of ongoing treatment or restrictions, he said it's pretty much business as usual.

"If I need a panadol I tell Doc, other than that I'm trying not to worry about it so much, except for when you get told to go for a scan."

Weepu has started every game for the Blues thus far as they've won two and lost three, and is almost certain to be required for duty again on Saturday when they host the Highlanders at Eden Park, with backup No.9 Jamison Gibson-Park still injured.

Kara said it was not known what had triggered the headaches but said it was not related to any head knocks that they knew of.

* Meanwhile Blues back Baden Kerr's bad luck with injury has continued as he faces another six weeks on the sidelines.

Kerr, one of Kirwan's flyhalf options, has yet to play in Super Rugby this season after earlier damaging a thumb.

He turned out in a Counties Manukau club game last weekend and cracked two fingers, which required surgery.

His continued unavailability has been softened by the form of rookie Simon Hickey, who has shown plenty of composure and goal-kicking accuracy since his surprise call-up four rounds ago.

The Blues, who have other first five candidates in Chris Noakes and league convert Benji Marshall, host the Highlanders at Eden Park on Saturday night.

Sources: 3 News & NZ Newswire

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